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The Victor's Crown: Greek and Roman Sport from Homer to Byzantium

David Potter

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Prose: non-fiction, Classical history / classical civilisation, Olympic & Paralympic games

A history of Greek and Roman sport in the ancient world, and the genesis of the Olympic Games.

Incorporating the latest research, The Victor's Crown offers an analysis of how competitive sport emerged in Greece during the eighth century BC, and then how the great festival cycle of Classical Greece came into being during the sixth century BC. Special attention is paid to violent sports of boxing, wrestling and pancration. We meet the great athletes of the past and discover what it was that made them so great.

It shows how the rise of the Roman Empire transformed the sporting world by popularizing new forms of entertainment (chiefly chariot racing, gladiatorial combat and beast hunts). David Potter vividly brings to life the experiences of being fan and competitor, and extrapolates skilfully to the modern day, creating not just a history of ancient sport, but also an examination of the social and cultural roles sport has played throughout history.

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